Thursday, May 13, 2010

Empire State Building honors Commies but not Saints (or Blesseds)

Bill Donahue petitioned the Empire State Building to light the building with blue and white in honor of her 100th birthday which is being commemorated by the US Postal Service by issuing a stamp featuring her. (see here and here). They refused. Without offering any explanation. Why? They honored some Chinese Communist who was responsible for the deaths of millions and 60 years of oppression of an entire nation. Sign the petition to support Bl. Mother Teresa.

My first question is why the hell would they honor a Communist Dictator to begin with. Fox News is the only news website that I could find that is covering this story. (not including independent blogs) What story? There's no story here. At least not according to the ESB spokesperson. Jeffrey Scott Shapiro did a little digging, as journalists are supposed to do. Some of his expericences:

This morning I called the Empire State building so they could explain why they decided to honor a communist state responsible for causing the death of millions of their own people, but not a Catholic nun who won the Nobel Peace Prize who spent 45 years saving lives. After all, at the time of her death, Mother Teresa’s charity was operating 610 missions in 123 countries.
Although I called several times, I could not reach Melanie Maasch, Director of Brand Development and Public Relations, but I did receive a call from Daniel Hernandez, a public relations representative working for an outside firm hired by the Empire State Building. Mr. Hernandez insisted that “there is no issue here,” and told me that his firm had been directed not to “comment on anything involving this story.”
I told Mr. Hernandez I disagreed with him that there was no issue here, and that in a free society like the United States it was the free press that decides whether or not there is an issue or a story to be written, not public relations officers.
“Obviously it’s an issue or I wouldn’t be calling you,” I told him during a telephone interview this morning.
“Who decides when to illuminate the building?”
“There’s a committee.”
“Who’s on that committee and how many people are on it?”
“I can’t tell you that.”
“Why? I’m just asking a general question about how the Empire State Building works.”
“I know, but you’re asking in relation to this story, the story about the lights, and as I told you, we’re not commenting on that story because we don’t feel there’s any issue here.”
“Don’t you think that’s kind of ironic?
“What do you mean?
“Well, you won’t respond to the free press about a story that accuses your organization of honoring a dictatorship. I mean, I kind of feel like I’m dealing with a dictatorship now. You’re telling me – a journalist – there’s no story as if you can dictate the news to the press and then you refuse to tell me anything as if you’re above explaining it.”
“I’m only telling you what I’ve been directed to say.”
“But there has to be an answer, there has to be a reason for all of this. Why can’t you just tell me and justify the committee’s position?”
“I’m only telling you what I’ve been directed to say.”
When Mr. Hernandez finally hung up, I stared dumbfounded at my BlackBerry Storm and wondered if I’d just lost contact with a spokesman for the Empire State Building management committee or the People’s Republic of China’s Central Committee. (read the full piece here).
 This is what I mean when I say we are heading to Hell in a Handbasket.

Who would YOU honor?

No comments: